History of Sake

Sake is known by most non-Japanese as the hot drink served at the local slice-and-dice - no strong flavor, but a potent punch. Sake is actually a very diverse set of flavorful rice wines, dating from the 3rd century.

Sake was first called kuchikami no sake, which meant "chewing in the mouth sake". A whole village would gather to chew up rice, nuts and other grain, and then spit it into a tub to ferment. This formed part of the Shinto festivals of fertility. Luckily, more modern practices are a little more sterile.

Sake is, at its simplest, a concoction of rice, water, and mold. Because of this, the type of rice used, the purity of the water, and other basic quality standards make a huge difference in the type of sake created. The rice is often polished down, removing the surface imperfections. This polishing also removes fatty acids - some companies claim the more fatty acids removed, the less of a hangover the drinker gets.

Momokawa Sake is brewed for around a month, and then aged for around six more. It should be consumed shortly after purchase, but can last up to a year. It should be refrigerated. Sake typically has around 15% to 17% alcohol, and is an almost transparent color. Some can be light amber or gold. Yellowed sake is usually old.

Sake has a wide range of tastes, but most taste of flowers and of course a rice flavor. It can be delicate or powerful. The "impact" of sake is called kuchi-atari. It can be very sweet or dry, depending on the density of the sake.

The complexity of sake is called oku-bukai. Like wine, a sake can be earthy - this is called koku ga aru. The "aftertaste" or finish of a sake is called its tail.

Sake can be served both warm and cold. Traditionally, summer sakes are served chilled, while winter sakes are served, as James Bond knows, around body temperature. It should never be served piping hot. The heat destroys the flavor - if you get a sake at a restaurant too hot to touch, send it back.

Gekkeikan Black & Gold Sake USA 750ml $14.99
Gekkeikan Nigori Sake Japan 300ml $6.99
Gekkeikan Nigori Sake Japan 720ml $14.99
Gekkeikan Japanese Plum Wine $12.99
Geggeikan Kobai Plum wine $5.99
Gekkeikan Sake USA 1.5 liter $9.99
Gekkeikan Sake USA $5.99
Gekkikan Suzaku Junmai Gingo Premium Sake From Japan 720ml $24.99
Hananomai Sake Katana Extra Dry Japan 720ml $29.99
Hakutsuru Junmai Gingo Japan 720ml $14.99
Hakutsuru Organic Junmai Sake Japan 720ml $12.99
Hatsumago Kimoto Junmai Japan 720ml $29.99
Ichishima Daiginjo Japan 300ml $29.99
Ichishima Junmai Genshu Japan 300ml $17.99
Kuromatsu Hakushika Chokara Japan 1.8 liter $19.99
Kurosawa Junmai Kimoto Sake Japan 720ml $19.99
Kurosawa Nigori Sake Japan 720ml $16.99
Makiri Junmai Ginjo Extra Dry Japan 720ml $31.99
Mizbasho Ginjo Sake Japan 720ml $23.99
Momokawa Murai Family Tokubetsu Honjozo Sake Japan 300ml $9.99
Momokawa Murai Family Tokubetsu Honjozo Sake Japan 720ml $19.99
Momokawa Pearl Junmai Gingo USA 750ml $12.99
Momokawa Sugidama Cedar Ball Sake Japan 1.8 liter $49.99
Mura Tokubetsu Honjozo 300ml $9.99
Nagasaki Sake Mandarin $19.99
Sakemoto Junmai Sake Japan 720ml $9.99
Shimizu-No-Mai Junmai Daiginjo 300ml $14.99
Sho Chiku Bai Sake Ginjo USA 300ml $6.99
Sho Chiku Bai Sake Junmai USA $5.99
Sho Chiku Bai Shirakabe Gura Mio Sparking Japanese Sake Wine 300ml $7.99
Ty Ku Junmai Daiginjo White Jumai Diaginjo Japan 720ml $99.99
Ty Ku Junmai Ginjo Black Japan 720ml $19.99
Wakatake Onikoroshi Sake Junmai Ginjo Japan 720ml $29.99
Wakatake Onikoroshi Sake Junmai Genshu Japan 720ml $29.99
Yaegaki Junmai sake Black Bottle Japan 300ml $9.99
Yaegaki Junmai Sake Black Bottle Japan 720ml $17.99
Yaegaki Nigori Sake Japan 720ml $15.99
Yaegaki Sake USA $5.99
Yoshi-No-Gawa Echigo Junmai Sake Japan 720ml $14.99
Yoshi-No-Gawa Gensen Karakuchi Sake Japan 720ml $19.99
Yoshi-No-Gawa Junmai Ginjo Sake Japan 720ml $17.99
All bottles of Wine are 750ml unless stated otherwise
Robert Parker Rating (Blue) - Wine Spectator Rating (Red) - Temporarily Out of Stock